Thursday, September 10, 2009

Omnibus Election Code - Article XIV

OMNIBUS ELECTION CODE
Article XIV

BOARD OF ELECTION INSPECTORS

Sec. 164. Composition and appointment of board of election inspectors. - At least thirty days before the date when the voters list is to be prepare in accordance with this Code, in the case of a regular election or fifteen days before a special election, the Commission shall, directly or through its duly authorized representatives, constitute a board of election inspectors for each precinct to be composed of a chairman and a poll clerk who must be public school teachers, priority to be given to civil service eligibles, and two members, each representing the two accredited political parties. The appointment shall state the precinct to which they are assigned and the date of the appointment.

Sec. 166. Qualification of members of the board of election inspectors. - No person shall be appointed chairman, member or substitute member of the board of election inspectors unless he is of good moral character and irreproachable reputation, a registered voter of the city or municipality, has never been convicted of any election offense or of any other crime punishable by more than six months of imprisonment, or if he has pending against him an information for any election offense. He must be able to speak and write English or the local dialect.

Sec. 167. Disqualification. - No person shall serve as chairman or member of the board of election inspectors if he is related within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any member of the board of election inspectors or to any candidate to be voted for in the polling place or his spouse.

Sec. 168. Powers of the board of election inspectors. - The board of election inspectors shall have the following powers and functions:

a.   Conduct the voting and counting of votes in their respective polling places;

b.   Act as deputies of the Commission in the supervision and control of the election in the polling places wherein they are assigned, to assure the holding of the same in a free, orderly and honest manner; and

c.   Perform such other functions prescribed by this Code or by the rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission.

Sec. 169. Voting privilege of members of board of election inspectors. - Members of the board of election inspectors and their substitutes may vote in the polling place where they are assigned on election day: Provided, That they are registered voters within the province, city or municipality where they are assigned: and Provided, finally, That their voting in the polling places where they are not registered voters be noted in the minutes of the board of election inspectors.

Sec. 170. Relief and substitution of members of the board of election inspectors. - Public school teachers who are members of the board of election inspectors shall not be relieved nor disqualified from acting as such members, except for cause and after due hearing.

      Any member of the board of election inspectors, nominated by a political party, as well as his substitute may at any time be relieved from office and substituted with another having the legal qualifications upon petition of the authorized representative of the party upon whose nomination the appointment was made, and it shall be unlawful to prevent said person from, or disturb him in, the performance of the duties of the said office. A record of each case of substitution shall be made, setting forth therein the hour in which the replaced member has ceased in the office and the status of the work of the board of election inspectors. Said record shall be signed by each member of the board of election inspectors including the incoming and outgoing officers.

Sec. 171. Vacancy in the board of election inspectors. - Every vacancy in the board of election inspectors shall be filled for the remaining period in the manner hereinbefore prescribed.

Sec. 172. Proceedings of the board of election inspectors. - The meetings of the board of election inspectors shall be public and shall be held only in the polling place authorized by the Commission.

      The board of election inspectors shall have full authority to maintain order within the polling place and its premises, to keep access thereto open and unobstructed, and to enforce obedience to its lawful orders. If any person shall refuse to obey lawful orders of the board of election inspectors, or shall conduct himself in a disorderly manner in its presence or within its hearing and thereby interrupt or disturb its proceedings, the board of election inspectors may issue an order in writing directing any peace officer to take such person into custody until the adjournment of the meeting, but such order shall not be executed as to prevent any person so taken into custody from exercising his right to vote. Such order shall be executed by any peace officer to whom it may be delivered, but if none be present, by any other person deputized by the board of election inspectors in writing.

Sec. 173. Prohibition of political activity. - No member of the board of election inspectors shall engage in any partisan political activity or take part in the election except to discharge his duties as such and to vote.

Sec. 174. Functioning of the board of election inspectors. - The board of election inspectors shall act through its chairman, and shall decide without delay by majority vote all questions which may arise in the performance of its duties.

Sec. 175. Temporary vacancies. - If, at the time of the meeting of the board of election inspectors, any member is absent, or the office is still vacant, the members present shall call upon the substitute or the absent members to perform the duties of the latter; and, in case such substitute cannot be found, the members present shall appoint any non-partisan registered voter of the polling place to temporarily fill said vacancy until the absent member appears or the vacancy is filled. In case there are two or more members present, they shall act jointly: Provided, That if the absent member is one who has been proposed by an accredited political party, the representative of said political party or in his absence the watchers belonging to said party shall designate a registered voter of the polling place to temporarily fill said vacancy: Provided, further, That in the event or refusal or failure of either representative or watchers of said political party to make the designation, the members of the board of election inspectors present shall choose a non-partisan registered voter of the polling place to fill the vacancy.

Sec. 176. Temporary designation of members of the board of election inspectors by watchers. - If at the time the board of election inspectors must meet, all the positions in the board of election inspectors are vacant, or if not one of the appointed members shall appear, the watchers present may designate voters of the polling place to act in the place of said members until the absentees shall appear or the vacancies are filled.

Sec. 177. Arrest of absent members. - The member or members of the board of election inspectors present may order the arrest of any other member or substitute thereof, who in their judgment, has absented himself with intention of obstructing the performance of duties of the board of election inspectors.

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